Governor announces 14 climate change grants

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas today announced that another 14 energy efficiency projects have been selected to receive almost $150,000 in funding from the Vermont Community Climate Change Grant Program. All told, these projects will reduce about 100 tons of greenhouse emissions – the equivalent of taking 16 cars off the road or not burning more than 10,000 galloons of gas, the Governor said.“It’s inspiring to see such strong grass-roots interest in energy efficiency and for doing Vermont’s part to combat climate change,” the Governor said.  “From Shrewsbury to Strafford, Vermonters are making improvements that will not only keep CO2 out of the air, but will also save individuals and taxpayers money.”In one project, Harwood Union High School is teaming up with Freeaire Refrigeration Systems of Warren to significantly reduce the cost and energy needed for the cafeteria’s refrigerators.Freeaire taps into the greatest source of refrigeration ever created: winter.  It uses cold outside air to cool a space, simply by using what nature has so kindly made available, to give the entire compressor system a winter vacation.  The high school expects to reduce CO2 emissions by 10.5 tons per year.Other projects include:Village of Essex Junction: $11,000 for a methane gas recapture system for the wastewater facility, which will provide heat and hot water for the facility. Annual emissions reduction – 9.5 tons.Town of Shrewsbury: $10,832 to upgrade and weatherize the town office and emergency shelter. Annual emissions reduction – 7 tons.Town of South Hero: $9,684 to replace the heating system, upgrade lighting and replace exterior doors at the town office building. Annual emissions reduction – 6.5 tons.Town of Underhill: $12,000 seal and insulate the town hall. Annual emissions reduction – 11.5 tons.Plainfield Fire & Rescue: $12,000 to weatherize the 1854 squad building. Annual emissions reduction – 10 tons.Lamoille Union School District: $12,000 to install photovoltaic panels to power the storage garage for the cross country trails.  Career center students will build the structure and net metering will generate credits for the campus. Annual emissions reduction – 2 tons.Richford Town School District: $12,000 to replace lighting at the high school gym. Annual emissions reduction – 16 tons.Yestermorrow Design/Build School of Warren: $11,850 to install a solar hot water system and create a demonstration project. Annual emissions reduction – 3 tons.Leicester School District: $8204 for lighting upgrades. Annual emissions reduction – 4 tons.Town of Moretown: $12,000 for weatherization and lighting upgrades at the town hall. Annual emissions reduction – 6 tons.Town of Waitsfield: $6515 to insulate and weatherize the Joslin Library. Annual emissions reduction – 6.5 tons.Worcester Historical Society: $9753 to weatherize and insulate the building. Annual emissions reduction – 2.5 tons.United Church of Strafford: $11,810 to install energy efficient lighting and weatherize the parish hall, including “the Ark,” an outdoor playground structure which doubles as a mini-stage for performances. Annual emissions reduction – 4.5 tons. Source: Governor’s office. 9/4/2009last_img read more

Puerto Rico Forum: Involve Puerto Ricans

first_imgPuerto Rico Forum: Involve Puerto Ricans FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享IEEFA:Key takeaways in a Washington, D.C., forum co-sponsored by IEEFA include the necessity of eliminating Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) legacy debt; the importance of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission’s role in overseeing PREPA’s transformation; and the need for the people of Puerto Rico to lead the development of a new vision for a modern energy system.A recording of the forum, co-sponsored with the Institute for Competitiveness and Economic Sustainability of Puerto Rico, the Center for a New Economy, and the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association is available here.Among the highlights: A presentation by Scott Hempling, an advisor to the Puerto Rico Energy Commission since it was established in 2014. Hempling’s remarks focus on the legal authority of the commission to oversee PREPA’s operations and to serves as the key regulatory agency in implementing reforms.The forum also included a panel discussion on immediate rebuilding concerns and recommendations to Congress to the longer-term vision for a new energy system in Puerto Rico. YouTube video: Puerto Rico: How Best to Get and Keep the Lights Back On?last_img read more

BNEF: Unsubsidized wind, solar are now the cheapest bulk generation sources

first_imgBNEF: Unsubsidized wind, solar are now the cheapest bulk generation sources FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Windpower Engineering & Development:Falling technology costs means unsubsidized solar and/or onshore wind are now the cheapest source of new bulk power in all major economies except Japan, according to BloombergNEF‘s (BNEF) new 2H 2018 LCOE report. The report assesses the cost competitiveness of different power generating and energy storage technologies globally (excluding subsidies).Every half year, BNEF runs its Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) analysis, a worldwide assessment of the cost competitiveness of different power generating and energy storage technologies – excluding subsidies.These are the key, high-level results:Solar and/or wind are now the cheapest new source of generation in all major economies, except Japan. This includes China and India, where not long ago coal was king. In India, best-in-class solar and wind plants are now half the cost of new coal plants.The benchmark global levelized cost for onshore wind sits at $52/MWh, down 6% from our 1H 2018 analysis. This is on the back of cheaper turbines and a stronger U.S. dollar. Onshore wind is now as cheap as $27/MWh in India and Texas, without subsidy.In most locations in the U.S. today, wind outcompetes combined-cycle gas plants (CCGT) supplied by cheap shale gas as a source of new bulk generation. If the gas price rises above $3/MMBtu, our analysis suggests that new and existing CCGT are going to run the risk of becoming rapidly undercut by new solar and wind. This means fewer run-hours and a stronger case for flexible technologies such as gas peaker plants and batteries that do well at lower utilization (capacity factor).Short-duration batteries are today the cheapest source of new fast-response and peaking capacity in all major economies except the U.S., where cheap gas gives peaker gas plants an edge. As electric vehicle manufacturing ramps-up, battery costs are set to drop another 66% by 2030, according to our analysis. This, in turn, means cheaper battery storage for the power sector, lowering the cost of peak power and flexible capacity to levels never reached before by conventional fossil-fuel peaking plants.Batteries co-located with PV or wind are becoming more common. Our analysis suggests that new-build solar and wind paired with four-hour battery storage systems can already be cost competitive, without subsidy, as a source of dispatchable generation compared with new coal and new gas plants in Australia and India.More: Onshore wind & solar lead as cheapest source of new bulk power, finds BNEFlast_img read more

Switzerland’s UBS says it no longer will finance new coal-fired plants

first_imgSwitzerland’s UBS says it no longer will finance new coal-fired plants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):UBS Group AG said it will no longer provide project-level finance to new coal-fired power plants around the world, as it outlined tighter rules on funding such transactions.Switzerland-based UBS noted it will only finance existing coal-fired operators — defined as being more than 30% reliant on coal — that have a transition strategy that supports the Paris climate agreement, or transactions that are related to renewable energy.The bank also intends to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.UBS said its carbon-related assets amounted to $2.7 billion in 2018, down from $6.6 billion a year before. Climate-related sustainable investments totaled $87.5 billion, up from $74 billion in 2017.Additionally, UBS disclosed that its total sustainable investment assets and core sustainable investment assets stood at $1.11 trillion and $313 billion, as of Dec. 31, 2018, respectively, representing 35.8% and 10.1% of the banking group’s total invested assets.More ($): UBS further tightens rules on coal financinglast_img read more

Statkraft, BayWa move ahead with second subsidy-free solar project in Spain

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:Two sponsors of one of Spain’s iconic subsidy-free plants have sealed a deal to deploy a smaller successor in the same area, planned again without support from government money. Norwegian firm Statkraft will be the offtaker for Don Rodrigo 2, a new 50MWp zero-subsidy plant BayWa r.e. is already building near its 175MWp forerunner in Spain’s Seville province.The successor – under development near the town of Alcalá de Guadaira – should have wrapped up construction by the end of 2019, both firms explained in a statement this week. Once operational at its 162-hectare site, Don Rodrigo 2 will generate 100GWh in solar power and cover the electricity needs of around 30,000 households, the firms added.For BayWa r.e., the latest ground-breaking comes less than a year after Don Rodrigo was completed.“Solar power has truly come of age,” said Dr Benedikt Ortmann, managing director and head of solar projects at BayWa r.e., in this week’s statement. “This is just the beginning,” Ortmann added. “We are proactively looking for other projects and developers to work with in Spain and Portugal.”The subsidy-free project is the latest of a budding pipeline in Spain, which has gone from European symbol of policy u-turns to the continent’s zero-subsidy hotspot in a matter of years.More: BayWa r.e., Statkraft team up for Spanish subsidy-free solar successor Statkraft, BayWa move ahead with second subsidy-free solar project in Spainlast_img read more

Gear of the Year: Best Outdoor Gear for 2013

first_imgClick to enlargeClick to enlarge1. Petzl Tikka XP2 HeadlampVersatile lighting options for a wide variety of conditions are essential in the backcountry, and this headlamp has it all. With one high-output LED, one red LED, five lighting modes, and a wide angle lens, the Tikka XP2 can cover up to 68 meters and provides 190 hours of lighting in economic mode. The two strobe settings are ideal for urban environments where visibility is crucial to nighttime bicycle commutes.$55; petzl.com2. Klean Kanteen Insulated 20oz mugNeed your homemade chili to keep nice and hot while you’re out shredding the slopes? Wouldn’t it be nice to have that smoothie stay cold while you’re out on a midday trail run? With this heavy duty insulated mug, you can do both. This stainless steel thermos keeps hot things hot (for up to six hours) and cold things cold (for up to 24).$30; kleankanteen.com3. Alite Monarch Butterfly ChairAfter a long day of backpacking, it’s nice to be able to get off your feet. Weighing in at 21oz, this lightweight chair lets you do just that while not having to lug around heavy, bulky alternatives. The aluminum frame balances on two legs, which allows you enough stability to sit on uneven ground and also rock forward and back. The tent-pole design breaks down to fit into a small stuff sack, so you can take it with you anywhere.$70; alitedesigns.com4. Casio PAG240 WatchAn upgrade to the Pathfinder line of watches, the PAG240 offers the same Triple Sensor functionality as the former models but is now powered by the sun. When you’re in remote locations, it helps to be able to look down at your wrist and have an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, compass, sunrise/sunset information, and the time of day literally at your fingertips in one sleek, compact design.$250; casio.com5. Sea To Summit Alpine II Sleeping BagSleeping at higher altitudes or in the dead of winter requires a bag that can provide serious warmth. The Alpine II is filled with Ultra-Dry Down™ at 850+ loft, which means you’ll be able to stay toasty at night without having to lug a bulky bag during the day. The smaller opening around the face ensures that your body heat does not escape, and the tapered box where your feet rest is designed with your foot’s natural angle in mind.$640; seatosummit.com 6. Adventure Technology HerculesMost kayakers do more than just run steep creeks or surf big waves. Most like to dabble, a little waterfall huck here, some McNastys there. If you’re a dabbler, then the Hercules is for you. Designed for the boater who spends a lot of time running rivers but likes to stop and play along the way, this versatile paddle is balanced for optimal all-around performance and is available in both carbon fiber and fiberglass. Think of it as the little black dress of kayakers.$230; atpaddles.com7. Showers Pass Refuge JacketA true do-it-all jacket, the Refuge is ideal for everything from bicycle commuting to shredding the slopes. The seam-taped, fully waterproof jacket has easy-access vents to prevent overheating, reflective trim for safe cycling on busy streets, and an adjustable hood large enough to cover any helmet. The jacket also includes an audio port in the chest pocket and a drop-down tail to protect against road spray and wet chairlifts.$279; showerspass.com8. Hobie Polarized Segundo SunglassesHobie’s high-tech lenses allows you to see all colors vividly. No more washed-out monochrome views; with the Segundo, you’ll forget you’re wearing shades.$190; hobiepolarized.com9. The A.T. GuideThru-hiker David “AWOL” Miller’s trail companion is the essential resource for any A.T. trek, whether a day hike or a thru hike. It includes mile-by-mile elevation profiles and icons indicating water, shelters, and scenic vistas, along with 72 maps of towns and resupply points.$15; theatguide.com10. GoLite Malpais Rain JacketAt a mere 6.7 ounces, this incredibly light three-layer rain shell also blocks wind and rain. Remarkably, it also breathes well, thanks to a permeable proprietary membrane. You won’t get better protection from the elements in under seven ounces. $125. The one thing that typically makes or breaks an adventure is the gear you bring (or don’t). What if you only have one opportunity to paddle that gorge or summit that peak? Do you want to spend the trip miserably wet from a faulty rain shell or completely frozen from inadequate base layers? We work hard to live for the moment, that brief period of time when the weather, the view, the smell of fresh air, the sweat on our brow, the sun on our cheeks, absolutely everything is just right. But more often than not, we find ourselves amid some not-so-perfect conditions. So when Mother Nature takes a turn for the worse, when fate deals its capricious hand, don’t slump back to base camp. Be prepared with these 16 great products that work where you need them, when you need them.Best Outdoor Gear 2013:1. Arcteryx Atom SV Hoody For temperatures and climates that demand more than a fleece mid-layer, this synthetic hoody is the way to go. Its moisture- and wind-resistant outer fabric also makes this jacket durable and warm enough for use as an outer layer. The underarm panel is designed to be breathable when you’re active, warm when you’re not.$250; arcteryx.com2. Smartwool Ridgeway HatFor those who like to hit the ski bar after a long day on the slopes, style and function are everything. This beanie has a tightly woven knit and full liner made entirely of Merino wool to keep your head warm even when the flakes start falling. The groovy stripes are sure to stand out in a sea of monochromatic melons.$40; smartwool.com3. Patagonia Capilene 3Even when your rain shell fails you and you’re drenched to the bone with half a day of hiking yet, you can count on these base layers to keep you warm. Made from a stretchy double-knit polyester fabric, both the top and bottom layers are designed with comfort in mind. Offset seams mean you can wear a pack comfortably for days without any irritation, and the Polygiene® permanent odor control will keep you feeling fresh and clean, no matter how greasy you really are.$65 top, $55 bottom; patagonia.com4. Mountain Hardwear ChockstoneFor those long days on the rock, you need pants that provide protection from any type of element. The air-permeable stretch fabric on the Chockstone has a high resistance to abrasion, but is also finished with a coat of DWR (Durable Water Repellent) to help shed moisture from light rain. This fabric also provides UPF 50 sun protection and a Micro-Chamois™ lining at the waist helps you stay comfortable when you’re in the harness for hours on end.Pant: $125; mountainhardwear.com5. Darn Tough Mountaineering SockBlizzards, freezing rain, blinding downpours: you name it, this sock can handle it. Made with extra heavy terry loop padding in the foot and shin, this beefy sock won’t wear out under pressure and provides maximum warmth. The streamlined fit and invisible seams help avoid debilitating blisters, while the fine gauge Merino wool lets your feet breathe and your socks dry fast. Did we mention these babies have a lifetime warranty?$25; darntough.com6. Marmot Ridgerock JacketWhen it’s rainy and cold, it sucks, no matter if you’re at 10,000 feet in the Alps or at 3,000 feet in the Blue Ridge. For a reliable shell that keeps you dry when you need it and lets you breathe when you don’t, check out this GORE-TEX jacket. The Angel-Wing Movement™ design doesn’t restrict your range of motion and prevents the shell from riding up your backside. It packs down to just over one pound, which is considerably light given its 100% seam-taped two-layer construction.$275; marmot.com7. MSR Hubba Hubba  When you see that storm front quickly approaching on the horizon, you want to be able to set up a shelter fast. The Hubba Hubba is the perfect solution for weight-conscious backpackers who appreciate an easy-to-assemble freestanding tent. With two doors, two large vestibules, and 40 inches of headspace, this three-season tent is great for everything, from extended alpine expeditions to car camping.$330; cascadedesigns.com/msr8. Kinivo BTH240 Bluetooth Wireless Headphones (not pictured)                                                                                                                                                                                        Kinivo’s top selling on-ear wireless headphones use an exceptional integrated rechargeable battery, which blast up to 10 hours of active audio. To recharge, simply plug the headphones into the included micro-USB charging cable and connect to your PC or wall outlet. It also provides crystal-clear conversations and hands-free calling via a built-in noise cancelling microphone – all housed in a stylishly slim, foldable design. The headphones handled trail runs and long hikes superbly—as well as the drive to and from the trailhead. $30. kinivo.com last_img read more

Brevard Celebrates Locals Only Project Award

first_imgNative Eyewear visited mountain towns across the country, including outdoor meccas like Boulder and Bend, but it was the North Carolina hamlet of Brevard that won last year’s Locals Only Project. Each year, Native Eyewear selects the very best outdoor towns to highlight in their catalogs and to feature in special town-focused videos.Native Eyewear spent a month in Brevard this summer where the brand worked with local folks to gather photos, interview the locals and to take breathtaking videos of the Great Smoky Mountains.  The footage was then captured in the 2014 Native catalog, on the Native website, and in an exclusive paperback publication created to celebrate Brevard’s outdoor culture and lifestyle.Celebrate with Brevard and Native Eyewear on Saturday, February 8, from 6 – 10 p.m. at the Lumber Yard at 200 King Street in downtown. Native will show the video and debut and distribute the paperback at the party. Beverage and appetizers will be provided with tunes of the local band Spencer and the String Ticklers serving as the backdrop.last_img read more

Trail Mix: Moot Davis Goin’ in Hot

first_imgSometimes, a title just fits.  Such is the case with Goin’ In Hot, the new release from Moot Davis.  Mere days after wrapping up the recording sessions for the record, the studio where Moot and his mates laid down the tracks caught fire and was left a smoldering ruin.  The music gods, however, were smiling, and all of the tunes were found undamaged on the hard drive of an otherwise ruined computer.Goin’ in hot, indeed.Trail Mix caught up with Moot to chat about the new record, unusual names, and finding country music in New Jersey.BRO – You are the first person I have ever chatted with named Moot.  Care to shed some light on your name?MD – Hah!  When I was younger, I was getting into some trouble in New Jersey – married women – so I went to live with an uncle in New Mexico for a bit.  My uncle was a bit eccentric, and he had met a guy named Moot on a hunting trip out there.  So, when we started working together out there he just started calling me Moot.  We thought it was funny and it stuck.  After I went back east, whenever I got in trouble, I’d give the name Moot Davis.BRO – You recently played some shows with Marc Ford, noted guitarist and producer, out in L.A.  Got a favorite Black Crowes’ tune he played on?MD – Marc is great.  I don’t have a particular favorite.  I think all those tunes are killer, but I was more interested in Marc as a producer.  I was very interested in the albums that he made with Ryan Bingham.  That’s initially why I got in touch with him.  We were actually going to make the fourth album together, but it just didn’t work out that way.  We ended up making it in Nashville with Kenny instead.BRO – Kenny Vaughan is one hell of a guitar player.  How was it working with him as a producer?MD – I really like working with Kenny.  He’s no-nonsense and we just get in there and get it done.  I think we made two really good albums with him.  I’m very proud of those albums and I think he really likes the songs and that’s what you really want out of a producer – somebody that likes the actual songs and can help you get the best versions of them.BRO – How does a boy from New Jersey get this deep into countrified rockabilly?MD – Both my mom and dad’s families are from West Virginia.  When I was a kid, we would take trips down there in the summer.  I don’t know, I guess it just happened.  And it might just be in you to start with, no matter where you grow up.BRO – We are featuring “Love Hangover” on this month’s Trail Mix.  What’s the story behind the song?MD – I do this thing called crossfit and one of my friends/teachers, Andy Mahaney, is always telling jokes.  He once made a joke about a hangover and then mentioned the phrase “love hangover.”  This happened while we were all working out, by the way, and he said,  “There you go, Moot.  There’s a song for you.  “Love Hangover.’”  So I wrote it on the way home from crossfit.  It was pretty easy to do, because I was just coming out of a long term relationship.BRO – You have just started your own label, Crow Town Records.  What can we be looking forward to in future releases.MD – We are wondering that ourselves.  It’s a pretty new venture for us and we’re just trying to get our first release out at this point.  We have high hopes, so we will just have to see what the future brings.You can grab a copy of Goin’ In Hot after it releases later this month.  For more information on the record or when Moot Davis might be hitting a stage near you, surf over to www.mootdavis.com.MootDavis_Guitarlast_img read more

Mountain Mama: Month Three of Marathon Training Plan Teaches Life Lessons

first_imgMonth three of my marathon training plan has shown me how each run reveals a different life lesson.No two runs have been alike. Running can be intimidating, energizing, exasperating, stress-relieving, catalyzing, daunting, buoyed by adventure, filled with inspiration, shaped by running partners, darkened by fear, nourished by epic views, eased by humor, and deepened by distance. My most memorable run this month was when I stepped in a pile of dog shit, which led to a discovery that forever changed the way I view what happens out on the trail.I kicked off my flip flops and started a jumping series to warm-up. Shedding my shoes was the beginning of leaving my inhibitions behind. The maple trees flamed with reds and oranges under the cobalt sky. It was one of those fall days when the world is in Technicolor, all the brighter because winter lurked a few months away. With each step the cool blades of grass kissed my feet. The sun beat down on my shoulders. My ponytail bounced as I skipped and weaved my feet in and out, a move dubbed the “grapevine,” up and down the stretch of grass in my local park.Running barefoot felt so exposing at first, getting rid of the barrier between my feet and germs. I thought about the bacteria that might seep into a cut or crack, bacteria that could cause athlete’s foot or plantar warts. I worried that running barefoot might hurt my joints or skin. But when I unlaced my shoes, my feet fell free and light. Barefoot running was like a time machine, transporting me back to my carefree childhood when my brothers and I played barefoot well after twilight with our gang of neighborhood kids. From then on I was hooked – running barefoot became one of my weekly runs. I liked the free-spirted feeling taking off my shoes and felt the easy joy I’d felt playing tag when I was a child.The park was full that day, everyone soaking up the warmth of the sun, gazing at the leaves changing colors. The looked at me as they walked or rode past, returning my smile. Happiness was airborne, wafting in the air like the golden leaves. I skipped higher and higher, feeling like I was on the verge of taking flight. My foot landed in a soft, warmness that oozed between my toes. I paused, enjoying the tingling mud engulf my toes before I realized that I’d just stepped in a pile of dog shit.“Shit!” It was the first word that popped into my mouth.I scuttled down to the river, half hopping so that the poop didn’t spread around my foot anymore. Could I get something from stepping in dog poop? Isn’t that how hookworm is spread?I stepped into the muddy river bank and wiped my foot around in the mud, my improvised effort to clean my foot. Both my feet and legs covered with mud, I climbed out of the river bank. I wanted to clean off my feet and put on running shoes to protect my feet from another poop-encounter.But I’d left them at home. My mud-streaked legs muddled through the rest of the run, my foot placement more cautious, my steps more measured. I blamed the dog owner for not picking up after his pet. I blamed myself for not wearing shoes. I thought about how disgusting it was to have stepped in a pile of dog crap. The run felt less fun, the fall colors appeared duller. I found myself thinking what a shame to ruin such a perfect run by stepping in poop.As soon as I said it, I realized that shit could only ruin my run if I let it, that I held the power to define that moment. It could be funny. I could tell it as a cautionary tale. Or perhaps I could even relish the warm, softness I’d experienced for that split second.The stepping-in-shit story is mine to tell, I get to pick the verbs and decide which sentences lead. I learned an important life lesson about the power of my own mind to shape an experience by the way I chose to tell it, owning what happens to me and make it beautifully my own. That day I learned the power my words have, how they shape the way I perceive the world.Now whenever I run, I embrace the difficult and interesting moments, because they make for the most engaging stories. Shit happens, and when it happens to me I’m doing my best to remember the warm, softness of it instead of the stench. We get to decide whether to see the difficulty or celebrate the triumph moments; we chose whether we will be sullied by fear or to be bolstered by possibility.It seems like a no-brainer to me – I’m choosing to celebrate the possibility!~Mountain Mamalast_img read more